Patients in accredited healthcare facilities are being involved in a media-based interview process containing new release forms, which allows patients to share their health issues with public media outlets. Greg Hitchcock conducted a recent interview titled “Release forms open doors to media interviews” with media relations professional Cheryl McGrattan. His article explained the purpose behind interviewing hospitalized patients about their medical conditions. It also explained the affects of patients who have shared their stories with the media; in turn patients will be more empowered and the public will be more informed. Furthermore, healthcare professionals are striving to protect patent privacy and mandating that media related interviews are conducted in accredited health care facilities. These are specific to those under the Joint Commission Standards, which is a non-profit organization that acts to meet certain healthcare industry quality standards.
Martin Orozco, field news camera man, has been involved in media in the hospital room for years, and said patient consent is always involved alongside with healthcare industry professionals.
“I’ve shot surgeries, transplants, and other minor surgeries that were about procedures, so obviously the patients give consent. We have a health reporter, and they’re always in touch with doctors and groups. The hospitals come to us and tell us what the patient is suffering with,” he explained, “and after the patients clears it, we do it. That’s how it works in that realm.”
Consequently, Orozco believed there is a huge benefit, rather than deficit, towards media involvement and medical related stories.
“Hospitals come to us in which they would like to inform the public. Years ago I did my first shooting heart transplant for a baby,” he expressed, “and I dealt with the families; they were so grateful that we were there. They [the babies] all got a heart-and all those babies are still alive. As bad people may think of us- one hundred and twenty four kids have hearts. Their parents were talking into my lens and they got a heart in twenty-four hours.”
Orozco supports the idea of sharing private medical information as long as there is proper consent. If the case presented, Orozco would consent to an interview backed-up by a valid organization.
“It wouldn’t bother me, but it would have to be from a very professional organization. It wouldn’t be for an Internet group or anything like that. It is important to find out what is credible.”
Finally, Orozco sees great benefit in sharing medical stories via television, and believes these consent forms benefit patients and the public alike.
“It is more of a benefit to have more knowledge. Unless they share info with other resources or institutions they won’t know,” he said, “it will go unhidden; they’re unbound, it’s a danger.”